2018 Fall Convention

We are pleased to announce our upcoming speakers for our 2018 convention, which takes place on Friday, September 28, 2018 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Natick, MA.  We are grateful to Phonak as our 2018 Platinum sponsor!  Thank you for your continued support of our local organization. 

A BIG Thank You to our 2018 Platinum Sponsor--Phonak

Thank you to our 2018 Gold Sponsor--Oticon

And thank you to our Silver Sponsors...







Debbie Abel, Au.D. received her Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Kent State University and her Au.D. from the Arizona School of Health Sciences.

Dr. Abel spent 13 years in private practice in Alliance, OH after moving an existing practice from the Alliance Eye and Ear Clinic, where she was employed for 14 years, taking the ENT with her.

She is the manager of Coding and Contracting Services for Audigy and is also associated with Arch Health Partners in Poway, CA, where she provides audiologic services on a very limited schedule. Formerly the Academy’s Senior Specialist, Practice Management, she was the Director of Reimbursement and Practice Compliance and served as an Academy Board member-at-large and as the chair of the Academy’s Coding and Reimbursement Committee and a member of the Academy’s Ethical Practice Board. She currently serves as a trustee on the board of the American Academy of Audiology Foundation.

Dr. Abel has authored several chapters in Plural Publication texts including the first, second and third editions of Strategic Practice Management: A Patient Centered Approach/Business and Procedural Considerations and The Essential Guide to Coding in Otolaryngology: Coding, Billing and Practice Management. The audiology companion book, The Essential Guide to Coding in Audiology: Coding, Billing and Practice Management edited by Dr. Abel, was published in December 2017.

Dr. Abel is an adjunct assistant professor at A. T. Still.  She was the Alliance Area’s 1994 Athena Award recipient, was awarded the first “Active Advocate of the Year” by the State Leaders’ Network of the American Academy of Audiology in 2006, in 2012, the American Academy of Audiology's President's Award and in 2017, ADA’s Joel Wernick Award.

Topic: What You Need in Your Toolbox to Position your Services for the Future

Download Dr. Abel's Presentation Handout

Codes (CPT, ICD-10, HCPCS)
Medicare regulations for audiologists
Reporting for Medicare’s Alternative Payment Model 
Common audiology coding errors 
Contracts and third party administrators 
Itemizing for hearing aid services 


Sara Mamo, Au.D., Ph.D. completed a clinical doctorate in audiology and a research doctorate in hearing science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She did her postdoctoral research training at the Johns Hopkins Center on Aging and Health. She is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Dr. Mamo's research focuses on improving access to affordable hearing health care for older adults with untreated hearing loss. She is especially interested in developing strategies that address the unique communication and behavioral challenges faced by families experiencing dementia and age-related hearing loss.  Dr. Mamo works on intervention-based research to test alternative service delivery models that focus on bringing hearing and communication support into the community and integrate those services into comprehensive health care programs for older adults. Her interests include working with the needs of older adults and families living with dementia and providing tailored hearing care services to alleviate symptom burden related to the progression of dementia. Her research related to dementia focuses both on how speech perception is impacted by the combination of hearing loss and cognitive decline and how best to address those speech perception needs in group care settings.

 Topic: Over the counter (OTCs) hearing devices and other evolving technologies in Audiology

Download Dr. Mamo's Presentation

A majority of adults who might benefit from hearing aids do not use them. There are a variety of barriers to care, which are dominated by issues of cost, access to services, and public awareness of the impacts of hearing loss as we age. Approaching age-related hearing loss through a public health lens suggests the need for novel care approaches in order to close the gap between the number of adults with hearing loss and the low number of those adults who are accessing hearing care services. Today’s presentation will focus on innovative care models that aim to increase access to affordable technology and hearing care services through community-based approaches.



Nicole Klutz, Au.D. is the manager of product marketing and Audiology at Phonak.  She joined the Phonak team in 2013 and has worked extensively with the international product and marketing teams throughout Sonova and Phonak.  Dr. Klutz received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Maine, Orono and her Au.D. at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Dr. Klutz' previous clinical experience includes diagnostic audiometric evaluation, hearing instrument dispensing to pediatric through geriatric population, electrophysiological and vestibular testing, as well as  professional education and training.  Dr. Klutz dedicates a great deal of her time developing and implementing clinically relevant and easy to use  demonstration tools in every day environments and is an active supporter of live demonstration.

Topic:  Bridging the gap:   The impact of hearing loss on emotional recognition & utilizing Family Centered care to engage the patient

Download Dr. Klutz's powerpoint presentation

Comprehensive patient care goes beyond the hearing loss and takes into consideration the patient’s entire ecosystem.  Research in the area of emotions as it correlates to hearing loss has posed the question: How does hearing loss effect a person’s ability to recognize emotion? A recent research study at Phonak Audiology Research Center, suggests significant difficulty of hearing impaired listeners to understand the emotional intent of a talker as compared to normal hearing listeners. The impact of emotional recognition on communication and relationships highlights the importance of incorporating Family Centered Care into your practice. This session will discuss how to acknowledge and extend beyond what the patient can or can’t hear and discuss their well-being while involving the family member(s) in the evaluation and rehabilitation process for ultimate long term success.


Schedule of Events for 2018 Convention

7:00 – 7:30 Exhibitor and Sponsors Set Up

7:30 - 8:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 - 8:15 Opening Remarks by Eva Bero, President of MAA

8:15 - 9:45 (1.5 CEUs, including ABA Tier 1) Debbie Abel, Au.D.  Topic: What you Need in Your Toolbox to Position Your Services in the Future

9:45 - 10:15 Break, Silent Auction and Exhibitors

10:15 - 11:45 (1.5 CEUs, including ABA Tier 1) Debbie Abel,Au.D., continued

11:45- 12:45 Lunch and Silent Auction

12:45 -1:00 Legislative Updates with Lisa Simonetti, Hub Strategies

1:00 - 2:00 (1 CEUs) Nicole Klutz, Au.D. from Phonak Topic: Bridging the Gap: The Impact of Hearing Loss on Emotional Recognition & Utilizing Family Centered Care to Engage the Patient

2:00 - 3:30 (1.5 CEU, including ABA Tier 1) Sara Mamo, Au.D., Ph.D.,  Topic: OTC Hearing Devices and Other Evolving Technologies in Audiology

3:30 - 3:45 Break/Announce Silent Auction Winners

3:45 - 5:45 (2 CEUs, including ABA Tier 1)  Sara Mamo, AuD., Ph.D., continued

5:45pm End of Day